Apple is entering into the competitive field of premium over-ear headphones. The headphones will apparently join the AirPods lineup and be called ‘AirPods Studio’ and will be distinct from Apple’s beats lineup of over-ear headphones. An icon sporting the AirPods Studio was noticed in a code relating to battery and charging widget for iOS 14 a few months back. Since the icons were discovered in iOS 14 code, this could mean the headphones will launch after iOS 14 later this year, but nothing is confirmed as of yet. Jon Prosser from Front Page Tech says that the AirPods Studio will cost at $349, i.e. $100 more than AirPods Pro which costs $249.
Looks like Apple is sticking with the “AirPods” branding for their new over-ear headphones.
— Jon Prosser (@jon_prosser) May 9, 2020
As reported by Bloomberg, prototypes of the headphones have been described as having a retro-like look with ear cups that twirl along with a headband connected with thin metallic arms. Interestingly, the headphones will come with ear pads attached magnetically, making them swappable. Owners will be able to swap different colors and variants for customization like they do with Apple Watch. Bloomberg also notes that the headphones will be sold in two variants – a premium leather version and a lightweight fitness-focused model.
Considering the luxurious nature of AirPods Studio, we can expect all the premium features of AirPods Pro to be supported by the headphones, including Active Noise Cancellation, Transparency mode, Ear Detection (Head and Neck Detection for a over-ear headphone), H1 chip, Siri support and the recently announced Spatial Audio and Auto-Switching function. Other new features might include custom equalizer with low, medium and high frequency adjustments, and orientation detection, which means there will be no wrong or right way to wear the headphones.
Apple is already dominating the wireless earbuds market with its highly popular AirPods and AirPods Pro, but a committed pair of premium headphones could give it an edge in the over-ear headphones market as well.